Chop off the bottom of the head of celery that keeps the stalks together. Remove the leaves but keep 2 handfuls aside for garnish later. Rinse the celery stalks well under cold running tap water. Drain them. Grate the celery roughly.
Then transfer the grated celery to a clean kitchen towel, press it tightly into a big ball and squeeze out any juice. If you don't do this, the celery salad will be soggy and watery in the end, especially when you are preparing the salad in advance.
Chop the apple into quarters and core them. Then grate the apple as well.
Transfer both grated apple and celery to a large mixing bowl and season with a generous pinch of pepper and a small dash of salt.
Add the olive oil, the mayonnaise, the poppy seeds and the chopped shallot.
Rinse the celery leaves you kept aside. Slice them up finely and add them to the celery and apple in the bowl.
Stir all the ingredients well to combine. Then check the seasoning and add extra pepper, salt or olive oil to taste if necessary. Transfer the salad to a clean bowl. Serve cold.